Tommi Parrish’s Snake Pit
Take a tour through an imaginary exhibition exploring the life of a queer artist.
Jun 21, 2023
“My life is full of broke gay artists and activists,” says Tommi Parrish, an Australian trans cartoonist currently based in Massachusetts. “Some friends and I were talking about debt and ended up joking about how we have nothing for the debt collector to repossess other than sentimental bits of junk. So I wanted to make a story about a famous artist whose retrospective focused not on their art but on sentimental objects, worthless to anyone else, that they had kept close throughout their life.” Parrish’s graphic novels, The Lie and How We Told It and Men I Trust, have been translated into seven languages, and their work has appeared in publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, and Granta. For the June installment of Drawn to MoMA, Parrish brings us into the life of an enigmatic figure known only as the Artist. The resulting story is queer in every sense of the word, told through richly painted images that reveal slivers of a life inside and outside of the closet.
Tommi Parrish’s graphic novels, The Lie and How We Told It and Men I Trust, have been translated into seven languages and included on many 2018 and 2022 best-of lists. Their work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, Granta, Pitchfork, the Guardian, and other publications.
UNIQLO is MoMA’s proud partner of #ArtforAll.